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More than 70 of the best professionals musicians across the State of Michigan join together to provide the Great Lakes Bay Region with symphonic music featuring renowned guest artists, family programs and special events since 1936. 

Past guest performers include Itzhak Perlman, Sarah Chang, Dave Brubeck, Sharon Isbin, Edgar Meyer, Measha Brueggergosman, Time for Three, the Grand Rapids Ballet Company, and many more who have contributed to the unique and challenging repertoire which defines the MSO.

Music Director

Bohuslav Rattay

Czech conductor and Music Director Bohuslav Rattay continues to bring a new style and flare to the podium, taking your classical music experience outside of the box. An enthusiastic promoter for classical music, Mr. Rattay strives to bring traditional and innovative programs together in a manner that’s exciting and fresh for his audience.

Bohuslav divides his time between the United States and Europe, always continuing his quest to find new ways to bring great music into the lives of people on both continents.

Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Matt Travis

A native of Bay City, Michigan, Matt completed a bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance at the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in Choral Conducting at Penn State University. While attending Penn State, he served as assistant conductor to the Penn State Men’s Glee Club, conducting performances at various division conferences and in domestic and international tours.  During his time in central Pennsylvania, Matt was music director of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County, from 2006 to 2010.

Following his years at Penn State, Matt was the Music Director at Trinity-Pawling School in Pawling, N.Y. from 2010-2014. Matt recently completed his doctorate in choral conducting at The University of Connecticut where he founded and directed the UCONN Men’s Glee Club and taught undergraduate courses in conducting and general music. In addition to his work at UConn, Matt served as Music Director of the Kent Singers and as Male Choirs Repertoire and Standards Chair for the Connecticut chapter of The American Choral Director’s Association. Matt is founder and Artistic Director of The Mid-Michigan Singers and Mid-Michigan Voice Academy.

Meet the Musicians

Violin I

Takeshi Abo**, Concertmaster
The Thomas and Vera Griswold Chair
Karel Abo**, Assoc. Concertmaster
The Gladys I. Lake Chair
Melissa Everett**
Wei Jai
Yu Xin
Xinyu Zhu
Tatiana Zueva*

Violin II

Heather DeGroot**, Principal II
Sponsored by Sarah Dergazarian
Oleg Bezuglov, Asst. Principal
Elaine Hunyadi***
Susan Mercy

Duoli Sun
Hsin-Ju Yu



Gerson Medina, Principal
Sponsored by Ken & Gina Pederson
Jessica Zelinski**, Acting Asst. Principal
Dilek Engin*
Howard Jones
Ryan McDonald



Cathy White***, Principal
The Phoebe Barstow Chair
James Fiste**, Asst. Principal

The Phoebe Barstow Chair
Imjeong Choi
Brian Dempsey***
Sara Moore*
Greg Stawick**


Jonathan Hammonds, Principal
The Ruth D. Stenger Chair
David Angelotti***, Asst. Principal

Susan McRae***
William Poulos*
Joy Rowland
Roland Wallace***
Sponsored by Pat and John Zimmerman



Joanna Cowan White**, Principal
Kassia Martin*
Cathy Webster***


Oboe/English Horn

Roger Rehm*, Principal
The Vernon A. Stenger Chair
Sarah Southard


Clarinet/Bass Clarinet

Sam Martin, Principal
Grant Von Wald**



Aliciana LoTemple, Principal
Jennifer Dean*
Cynthia Duda



Kurt Civilette, Principal
The Robert T. Ralston Chair
Robin Von Wald***
Michael Wright*
Nicole Minney


Matthew Thomas*, Principal
Sponsored by Nina & David Frurip
Grayson Gayle
James Young*



Denis Jiron, Principal
Sponsored by John & Amy Wilson on behalf of Abigail Wilson
Joseph Radtke**
Bryan Pokorney**



Mark Cox**, Principal
Sponsored by Sarah & Daniel Opperman



Rob Kratz*, Principal



Andrew Spencer*, Principal
The Tina and Philip Van Dam Chair
Chris Peeler**



Joan Holland**, Principal



Mary Jo Cox**, Principal
Sponsored by Sarah & Daniel Opperman


Librarian & Personnel Manager

Robin Von Wald

*10-19 Service Years
**20-29 Service Years
***30+ Service Years
+MSO/CMU Undergraduate Fellow

Midland Symphony Orchestra is proud to be a partner orchestra of the National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS), an unprecedented national initiative to increase diversity in American orchestras. It will do so by offering Black and Latinx musicians a customized combination of mentoring, audition preparation, financial support, and audition previews. Learn more at